Charged With DUI? Don’t Own A Car? You Still Need An Ignition Interlock

interlock laws with no carIf you’ve ever held your car keys in your hand and pondered whether or not you’re sober enough to drive, you’re not alone. Thousands of people go through the same dilemma every day, but most already know that the only option should be to contact a sober driver or take a cab home. Alcohol has a way of shutting down the part of your brain that tells you when you’re over your limit, and it might even give you a false sense of confidence that’s enough to get you behind the wheel and driving home even though drunk driving is illegal and your coordination and motor skills aren’t what they should be.

But police are on the lookout for people who make the choice to drink and drive, and they’re ready to charge you with DUI, suspend your license, and maybe even send you to jail for a few days if you’re convicted. In a growing number of states, all offenders, including those arrested for DUI for the first time, are also required to install an ignition interlock as part of DUI penalties.

But what happens if you don’t actually own a vehicle? Are you able to skip the ignition interlock requirement completely?

The short answer is no, and here’s why – unless you plan on using public transportation for the entire duration of your license suspension, you may be borrowing a vehicle to drive. You might even be borrowing the same vehicle you were stopped for DUI in the first place, or you don’t own a car yourself but you drive one owned by the company you work for.

As part of your ignition interlock requirement, any vehicle you drive must have an ignition interlock installed in it, and that includes your friend’s car or a company car. If someone else also drives the vehicle, they will have to blow into the interlock device to start it too. Just keep in mind that before you bring the vehicle into a service center to have the ignition interlock installed, you’ll need permission from the vehicle’s owner.

DUI penalties are put into place so people who are holding their keys in their hands and wondering whether they’re sober won’t make the mistake of getting behind the wheel. Think about the consequences, and then make the choice to call a cab or ask a designated driver to take you home.

If you’re wondering what the DUI penalties are for your state, take a look at Guardian Interlock’s State law page.


  1. Will there be any changes in insurance if interlock device is installed in a car that is not owned by the defendant ?

  2. Charles Hickman says:

    Insurance practices are state-specific, so you would have to ask your insurance provider.

  3. If your suspended is up and pay fines and the restoration feeWill motor veichels still issue a lic even you don’t have a veichel and you need get a breathalyzer installed in it ?

  4. Charles Hickman says:

    That will depend on your state laws. The best way to find out is to call Guardian Interlock at 800-499-0994 and ask representative.

  5. Anthony Unger says:

    Let’s say you are ordered to get a ignition interlock in Febuarary of 2016 for 365 days. In February of 2017 do you still have to have one if you buy a car or did you already serve the period of having a ignition interlock?

  6. Charles Hickman says:

    Different states’ interlock programs work differently. Give a call to 800-499-0994 and a Guardian representative will check the requirement in your state.

  7. If my suspension is served do I still have to get the interlock device


    I have the interlock in my car, now my p.o. said I have to get the in home device also. Is that normal to have both?

  9. Editorial Staff says:

    Depending on circumstances, people can be required to have both devices.

  10. Editorial Staff says:

    This is a great question — every state law is different. In some states, you cannot reinstate your license until complete the interlock program, regardless of when the order was issued. The best bet is to call your licensing agency or check their website for guidance.

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